For generations in the wilderness Liberals held firm to the belief that British businesses would be transformed for the better if they were owned and controlled by their employees. From the Yellow Book , to Ownership for All and on to Jo Grimond this was the USP of our economic policy. After Paddy stepped down as Leader the policy fell from view but has been taken up again by Norman Lamb (although maybe not in the in such a radical distributionist fashion)
Today the BBC carries two reports on the biggest group of worker owned business is Europe and asks why they the bucked the trend of economic decline/disaster in Spain. These are the worker owned co-operatives in the Basque region that inspired Grimond . Is it not time we reclaimed this policy as a central theme to sustain the economy and redistribute assets and income in our society.
Economic success stories are rare in recession-hit Spain these days but one can be found in the small northern Basque town of Arrasate, nestling in rolling green hills.
Here lies the headquarters of Mondragon, reckoned to be the world's largest worker co-operative. The name is the same as the town's, when translated from Basque into Spanish.